Just a little update.
The official attitude seems to be that there is no point in getting an official RAF Statement regarding Typhoon vs Rafale in ATLC - this would be seen as dignifying what seems to be almost universally viewed as 'hoop' (nonsense) with a response. Moreover there is a disinclination to get into what one officer called "an RAF v FAF or Typhoon v Rafale p***ing contest", which he viewed as being "entirely pointless."
Interestingly, I've had very similar official responses from the 1st Fighter Wing.
This means, of course, that junior pilots tend to be less willing to talk, and those that do do so only on condition of anonymity.
That's a shame, as the more I hear about ATLC, the more amusing the claims coming out of the exercise have become.
Those who took part are supremely unconcerned by all the hysteria and bol.locks (La RAF n’est plus ce que’elle était - "The RAF isn't what it was"
) that we've seen, because they were there and know exactly what did and did not happen. There are also those who are quite content for their aircraft to be under-rated by the opposition, sensing that this might lead to complacency and carelessness.
But this 'remaining above it all' attitude is frustrating for those who watch from the sidelines.
Mercifully, for Typhoon enthusiasts, the facts do seem to be extremely encouraging, and when they emerge some people are going to look really rather silly.
Fortunately, I detect a gradual change in attitude, and soon expect to be able to write about the exercise.
In the meantime, enjoy all the '7-1 scoreline' and 'only in the F-22's gunsight once' stuff. I know that I am doing!